Important Health Information:  All Visits to Atascadero State Hospital Cancelled

To protect patients and staff from exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), normal visiting to all hospitals is prohibited until further notice, except for court-ordered evaluations, other legal matters, and end-of-life care. In the event of other special situations in which visitation may be considered, approval of the hospital’s medical director would be required.

All approved visitors will be subject to a health screening.

Any illness that is spread from person to person can develop very quickly in a hospital environment. We appreciate your support of these efforts to protect the patients and staff of Atascadero State Hospital.

DSH - Atascadero: Visitor Information

General guidelines for tele-visitation with a patient:

  • Tele-Visitation takes place every day, with first tele-visit appointment time at 8:30am and last tele-visiting appointment time at 12:30pm.
  • Each tele-visit appointment lasts up to 30-minutes.
  • To allow for wider patient access to tele-visitation, each patient can only be scheduled for one tele-visit per day.
  • Each tele-visit may have up to three visitors participating from one location during one tele-visit.
  • Previously approved minors may be allowed to participate in tele-visits on Fridays ONLY, with the parent or guardian listed on approval forms. If the minor(s) have not been previously approved, please contact the unit Clinical Social Worker.
  • Patients currently housed on an admission unit or a quarantined unit may not participate during the their time on that unit.
  • All requests for tele-visiting will be processed by Department of Police Services in the manner similar to in-person visiting. If the visitor is restricted from grounds or has an active warrant, the tele-visit will be denied.
  • The Department of Police Services visitor review process will take approximately five business days.
  • Approved visitor(s) will receive a confirmation email with tele-visit day, time, and a WebEx link to the tele-visit.
  • Approved visitor(s) will have their identity verified at the beginning of the tele-visit. Only previously approved visitor(s) can participate in the tele-visit and be visible on the screen.
  • During the visit, the patient and visitor(s) will be expected to adhere to the same rules and regulations as in-person visits. This includes but is not limited to attire and appropriate behavior. Any misconduct or failure to follow visiting policies may result in termination of the visit.
  • Department of Police Services Visiting Room officers to maintain visual surveyance of all visits.
  • Criminal activity observed during the visit will be processed in accordance with applicable laws.

Technology Requirements to Participate in a WebEx Meeting

Scheduling Tele Visits/Verification Process

To schedule a tele-visit, please login to Tele-Visitation Scheduling to complete the request form. Tele-Visitation scheduling will be on a first come first serve basis and is subject to change at any time. Incomplete or inaccurate requests will be denied.

Tele-Visit Request and Scheduling (NOTE: best viewed using Chrome internet browser)

General Regulations:

Department of State Hospitals – Statewide Contraband List

In accordance with Welfare & Institutions Code Section 7295, to ensure its safety and security, the Department of State Hospitals has developed a list of items deemed contraband at every state hospital.

A. "Contraband" means materials, articles, or goods that patients are prohibited from having in their possession because such materials, articles or goods present a risk to safety and security in the facility.

B. Items restricted to use only under supervision or control may be considered contraband for the purposes of this list, as they should not be in patient's possession without supervision. All items that are illegal to possess are by default considered to be contraband, whether specifically contained in this list or not. This includes any items prohibited as a condition of parole as it applies to any patient on active parole while housed in a DSH facility.


All visitors are required to register at the Visitor Registration Desk in the main lobby, and present a valid photo identification issued by a state or federal agency. Providing false or incomplete information to the registration officer may result in the denial of visiting privileges.

Required Visitor Health Questionnaire:

All visitors are required to complete the Hospital Visitor Health Questionnaire. Please select from the language choices below:

The completed form will be evaluated. Visitation will be denied if the visitor is actively ill or determined to be ill by designated nursing staff.

Property and Metal Detector Screening:

All visitors are processed through the metal detector, and all property is searched by Police Services.

Access for Children:

Children (under the age of 18) may be allowed access to the visiting area with prior approval from the Clinical Administrator or designee or the Executive Officer of the Day (EOD) after-hours. It is advisable to obtain this approval well in advance of the planned visit.

Number of Visitors Allowed:

No more than six (6) visitors per patient are allowed at one time.

Visitor Dress Code:

Visitor clothing shall be conservative. Khaki-colored clothing (beige, tan, etc.) is prohibited.

The following clothing is restricted or prohibited:

  • shorts
  • strapless or transparent garments
  • halter/midriff tops
  • tank tops
  • any wrap-around clothing
  • under-wire garments
  • skirts or dresses shall fall below the knee
  • capri pants
  • clothing slits in excess of 4 inches
  • leg-warmers
  • lycra or spandex clothing
  • camouflage/fatigue designs
  • wigs (exception: for medical reasons with prior approval)
  • clothing with hoods
  • scarves
  • ties and necklaces
  • gloves or hats
  • open-toed shoes
  • smart watches


Food and Refreshments While Visiting:

Visitors may not bring food into the visiting room. There are vending machines in the visiting room for beverages or snacks. Vending machines require silver coins, and a one-dollar change machine is also available. No more than $15 in one dollar bills or coins per visitor.

No more than $15 in one dollar bills and/or coins for the individual visited (i.e., three visitors would be allowed a combined total of $60 ($15 for each visitor and $15 for the person they are visiting.)).